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1936 George 2023

George Stewart

October 22, 1936 — September 23, 2023

George A. Stewart, 86, of Pickerel Lake, passed away Saturday September 23, 2023, at Strand-Kjorsvig Living Center in Roslyn.

A memorial service celebrating George's life will be 1pm Saturday, June 29, 2024 at Journey Of Faith Church (formerly United Methodist Church) in Webster. https://fb.watch/t1a3GPVthG/

George was born on October 22, 1936 at the Peabody Memorial Hospital in Webster, South Dakota to Fenton Winfield and Eleanor Kristine (Larson) Stewart. He was baptized and confirmed at the Episcopal Church in Webster and had fond memories of his church and Sunday School experiences and his favorite hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” always made him smile and fondly remember Jet Lee leading the charge!!

George attended Mrs. Sewell’s Nursery School on West 7th Avenue and his elementary and high school education was all at the Webster Public Schools. He lived in Webster his entire life except for college and his job with the South Dakota Highway Department. He attended South Dakota State College in Brookings for one year and graduated from Northern State College in Aberdeen in 1959 with a degree in Industrial Arts after which he took a job with the SD Highway Department as a checker, building roads. In November of 1959 when Mr. J. R. Brunner passed away he was convinced to return to Webster to finish teaching the rest of the year which led to his moving back to Webster where he taught Industrial Arts for the next 39 years. Two things George had pledged: one: he would never live in Webster and two: he would never be a teacher!!

On June 18,1960 George married Nila Nygaard at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Aberdeen. They were blessed with two amazing sons: Gregg Allyn and Scott Harold Stewart. Their joy was increased with the arrival of two grandchildren: Dorian Andrew Stewart and Zarina Nora Choudhari Stewart and two great grandchildren (twins) Kody and Kailey Richards. As the size of his family grew, George needed a summer job so he began shuttling would-be swimmers by bus back and forth to Blue Dog Lake for many years. When the Webster Swimming Pool was built in 1966 he became the Manager of the Pool. He stayed at the pool for many years and loved the wonderful life guards and interacting with the swimmers. Ironically, George was scared to death of water and never learned to swim.

He became interested in photography and spent hours reading and learning plus having the opportunity to learn from Wally Leffler and Ralph Richter. One day the opportunity came for him to spread his wings with his camera and in 1971 he started Stewart’s Photography with his wife which they operated for over thirty years.They had many experiences and met many wonderful people and have very special memories like at his first wedding when he was trying to do everything perfect and the priest jokingly said to him, “If you had been in artillery, we would have lost the war”.Many of his subjects would agree!!

George had a teaching style that was somewhat unique and attracted student teachers to Webster where many of them became lifelong friends like David McCullough of Black River, Wisconsin who created the urn in which George’s ashes are interred. It is craftily built out of white oak .Another is Monte Rougemont who with his wife, Fran are providing the music for the service.

He was never one to seek praise or notoriety so he was surprised when he was nominated by several of his former students attending the South Dakota School of Mines and was awarded the “Meritorious Achievement in Education Award “ in 1970 at their annual Honors Day program. He was also a candidate for South Dakota “Teacher of the Year “ in 1973 and in 1994 received the “ Webster Alumni Association Role Model of the Year “ award.

George was a member of the Freemasons, Webster Jaycees, Webster Chamber of Commerce as well as many professional and educational organizations. He was a member of the Webster Methodist Church and served on several boards but found his niche on the Book of Golden Memories committee which he enjoyed until his health failed.

George enjoyed live theater, all kinds of music and especially Country Western, industrial arts, woodworking, photography, making lefse and kringla with his family. He and his brother-law, Don were the “kings” of the krina lefse!

He loved auction sales, rummage sales, collecting antiques —especially Roseville Pottery. He had a special love for clocks and built a beautiful grandfather clock for Nila, he played Santa Claus for Webster families when he was young and was especially fond of doing all kinds of things with his grandchildren who dearly loved their Grandpa Gee!! He had a special affinity for his little yellow motorcycle. George had a very charming smile with twinkling eyes!! George was an avid traveler and visited most of the United States either with the Buchele brothers or with his family. He loved Canada and took his family and his camera there many times.

George and Nila traveled to France, England, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and enjoyed an eighteen day Cruise to European capitals. They visited their grandson and his mother many times in Paris and their granddaughter and her family in London. George was a lifelong learner and could be found trying and learning new things.

This year, 2024 is the seventieth anniversary of his graduation from Webster High School. Unfortunately, his last days were spent suffering from the incredibly difficult disease of dementia.

George is survived by his wife Nila, two sons: Gregg and Marni (Choudhari )Stewart and Scott and Kathy (Pederson) Stewart, his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Marion (Stewart)and William Robertson, a nephew Michael and Morgan Robertson, a niece Michelle (Robertson) and Thomas Foye, great nephews Travis Foye and Owen Robertson and a great niece Danielle Robertson. He is survived by a sister-in-law Melva Johnson, two nieces, Lila(Johnson) and Roy Hervey and Lori (Johnson) and Greg Krause and several grand nieces and nephews. He is survived by his only living first cousin Kent and Judy MacAlpine. George was preceded in death by his parents Fenton and Eleanor, his in-laws Harold and Nora Nygaard, an infant daughter, a brother-in-law Don Johnson, Uncle Francis and Leone Larson and their daughter Judith, Stewart Aunts:Jean and Rollin DeMent and their son Brian, Charleen and her husband Blake Throckmorten Mackenzie and their daughter, Jean and Marceene and Kenneth MacAlpine.

George will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all whose lives he touched.

To send flowers to the family in memory of George Stewart, please visit our flower store.

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